Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quote Of The Day - May I?

Tonight at dinner little H-Bomb wanted more. More ham, and nothing else. No potatoes, no veggies, just ham. He was getting a little demanding and The Missus started in on a lesson in manners.

H-Bomb: More HAM!
The Missus: H-Bomb, say, "Daddy I love you, may I please have more ham?"
HB: I love you Daddy (grinning in an obnoxiously cute fashion)
TM: Say, "May I please..."
HB: May I please...
TM: May I please have some more ham?
HB: May I please have a cookie?
Me: WHAT!?
HB: I'm tricky!

Yeah, he's tricky all right.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

I Heart NY

As it happens, the great state of New York labor laws state that you are now allowed to work more than thirteen days without a day off. (Apparently this didn't apply last year because I did.) So I got called into my boss' office this morning and told I have to take Tuesday off. HA!

To top it all off I was leaving early anyway today so that I could make Miss O's school birthday party. It was there that The Missus told me that my only requirement for the day will be to lay around and watch TV with the boys while she goes to a mommy thing. Can I get a Boo-Yah from the people in the balcony?

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Miss O's Birthday

I was thinking at work today as I stood in the labor room that we're remodeling, about how six short years ago I was pacing that very floor in expectation of my first child. Now she's six-going-on-thirteen and I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to keep up. With all the stress she brings home from school, the catty-ness, the brother bashing and her expectations of this day I was cringing a little at what the outcome might be.

Going to a China Buffet with eight adults and seven kids is not ever my idea of a good time, but that's what she wanted. The Missus and I wound up at a table with the six children who were awake. My little princess was the best behaved of them all. Back at home for the presents and cake I was cringing a little again, wondering if there might be a breakdown when the pile of presents didn't correspond to the list in her head.

It was amazing though. With every rip and swoosh of wrapping paper her little face lit up, even when it was just gloves and a hat. She was so thrilled about everything. And... sniff, she said her favorite present was the picture that her little friend Eden had made for her.

And the cake, UH MAH GAHD, the cake! My Missus really knows how to make em. And when I say that I mean make em. Three layers of chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting in between, princess pink on the outside, hand made chocolate shapes plastered all over it and a chocolate lattice tower rising from a green frosting meadow on top. Dang! there will be pictures for you to ogle somewhere shortly.

And that's it. She had a wonderful day and was just as nice as could be. Sometimes things just go right.

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Come As You Are

Yeah, the meme finally caught up with me. So here it is... an instant snapshot taken of myself without doing my hair or putting on makeup. (Kind of a give away that this one started out on the mommy blog circuit). So now here's the rules.

Take a picture of yourself right this very minute.
Post it on your blog.
Tag somebody else.

I'm pretty sure most of the people I know have already done this one. I'd like to tag one of my very favorite couples, Green Panda and Super Jew, but as it turns out they both hate memes. So I'm picking one of my other very favorite-est couples, Unka Benna and Auntie Sarah.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Here's The Poop

Yeah, OK, so... I realize that this might be a little bit awkward for readers who don't have children. I harken back to a discussion that took place in a Denny's with four people who had children and two who didn't. After a ten minute discourse on the state of poopy diapers in the kingdom we turned to observe the childless one's with tight lips and very big eyes. Well, to those of you who don't live in a world that revolves around diapers and wipes... get over it. Everybody poops. (Which, coincidentally, is the title of a hilarious book that I am not going to bother to link to on Amazon.)

Anyway, lil H-Bomb has been slowly gaining interest in the potty lately. Going to the bathroom is always a team sport at our house. It starts with a toddler following a parent everywhere. Eventually said toddler starts following siblings in there as well. H-Bomb would peek in the bowl and announce, "POOP!" and for some reason "COW!". It might have something to do with visiting me while I was building dairy barns last summer, I have no earthly idea though. It was such a constant verbal tick with him that it became a game for The Missus to play with him when changing nappies.

TM: Is there poop in there?
HB: No... jusss pee!
TM: Did you poop a cow?
HB: Noooooooo!

After a while he was no longer satisfied with the imagery. The young man's thoughts turned from the bovine to nearly every other creature in the barnyard.

TM: Did you poop a cow?
HB: No! A GOOSE!

Ha! And that's not all the little fella came up with. After a couple days the old goose routine wasn't getting the laughs anymore so he upped the ante.

TM: Did you poop a goose?
HB: TWO Geese!

And it didn't stop there. I'm sure The Missus can fill you in on more of the panoply of barnyard creatures that have graced the folds of little H-Bomb's nappy. It's quite extensive. He spent a week running through ducks, kittens, sheep, and his latest favorite: chickens. The little guy is just wild about chickens for some reason. He's got poultry on the brain and well... on the kiester too.

Yeah, so that happened. When he's older I'm going to have to thank him for his creativity in relieving the monotony of changing diapers. I'd SO much rather hear about what pretend animal just sprang forth from his booty than have to play Stinky Feet while trying to wipe his bum.

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Monday, January 19, 2009

The Place Is A Mess! C'mon In!

I got a note from my new heterosexual life partner Irish Gumbo today letting me know that somebody gave him a big hat tip on their blog and was using a quote from The Mister. Pretty frickin sweet! I started to write back to him and when I was done I thought it looked like a post, so I just posted it.

Dear IG,
I can't believe people I don't even know are linking to me. A sign from God? I was about to go on blogger's hiatus. I was feeling tired and crabby because I had to work all weekend and then I realized that I have to work all next weekend, and the weekend after, and the weekend after. 32 days. My next time off is after Valentine's day! Now people are linking to me and I'll likely have new visitors. Shit! This is EXACTLY what I wanted! Company coming over and the blog's a mess.

Nothing for it but to hitch up my britches and put fingers to keys I guess.

One lesson learned from doing NaBloPoMo is that when you're busy and forcing yourself to blog you mostly write about how busy you are. The last three days of November I just wrote fiction and it was like being on vacation (only one I got at the time, being in the middlle of a 21 day pull)

I'm looking forward to taking a cue from your road trip story. I've got stuff like that rolling around in my head but I keep it in there because I've never been around anyone who would appreciate it. First I've got a multi-part story brewing about a guy on tour. More of a collection of odd happenings. Most of it happened to me, some of it tales I've swapped while sitting on an amp rack.

Glad to hear you're in good spirits. Chin up and don't worry. A blithe attitude in the face of a recession is one of my favorite toys, people think you're broken. My old plumber's grin used to get bigger and bigger the worse things got. He's been my role model in times of adversity.

P.S. Thanks to TextIMPS for the quote.

P.P.S. The Missus' boyfriend is a microwaveable bean bag full of indian corn named Colin Firth, so it's not that weird that I called you my heterosexual life partner. At least... not at our house.

P.P.P.S. My kids keep doing hilarious things but they also tick me off so much that I can't remember any of them. Eventually this will go back to being a blog about daddy-type-stuff.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fidelity

In this age of cell phone hook-ups, easy divorces and all the rest of the nonsense that swirls around it seems as though good ol' fashioned "Don't Cheat On Your Wife" has kind of fallen by the wayside. I can name five or six friends of mine who ended marriages while still in their twenties because one or both of them just decided they were more interested in sleeping with other people.

Thank God I don't run into opportunities more often than I do. (Really, it's surprising that a handsome devil like myself doesn't get hit on more often, but the appeal of a bearded guy in a van is one of those off-the-beaten-path kind of tastes I guess.) Now when I say opportunities don't take that to mean that I'm walking around looking for them. Every once in a great while though I'm startled to find myself across from some girl making eyes at me.

It happened the other day at work when I ran into a girl that I haven't seen in close to ten years. The last time I saw her was right before she got married and moved to another state. As we passed there was that brief flicker of recognition and then we both turned around and said the other's name with a question mark. A brief hug and we dove into the where-you-been exchange that attempts to cover a decade in a few words.

The next part involves my mental process and it transpired in milliseconds so I'll break it down on a time line. She made the eyes at me and suggested that I give her a call some time so we could "catch up". Start the clock:

0.001 - Yeah right when am I ever going to find time to get caught up. I don't really have time to be standing here right n-

0.013 - Holy CRAP!

0.014 - She wants me to come over and make out like we're still in high school!

0.019 - BRAWWWWWNK! BRAWWWWWNK! ALERT! ALERT!

0.021 - FULL SYSTEM SHUTDOWN ENGAGE! RE-ROUTE BLOOD FLOW FROM NETHER REGIONS TO BRAIN!

0.025 - ENGAGE RAPID EXPOSITORY SYTEM!

0.033 - RUNNING TACTFUL RESPONSE ROUTINES!

0.037 - BREVITY CHECK COMPLETE! ENGAGE VERBAL SYSTEM!

0.040 - MOUTH OPENS - "Wellllll, I'd love to grab a beer some time but between the hospital and the kids I'm keepin' pretty busy these days"

Then I watched her go through some millisecond processing that appeared to involve some letdown and the failed booty call, then recognition that being disappointed at my marriage and offspring was not the correct response and an attempt at a smile.

"Yeah, I married The Missus (who she knew from our school days as well) and we've got three and a fourth on the way."

That got the train back on the proper tracks and the usual small talk ensued. I went away shaking and spent the rest of the afternoon beating my brain back into shape. I walk around day after day not thinking the slightest thought about stepping out on my girl. I've wanted to be married for so long and have held the institution in such high regard that the thought of kissing on somebody else isn't even one that ever floats to the surface. Especially when that is the reason for the demise of so many marriages around me.

The reason I was shaking was that in that time period between 14 and 19 milliseconds a part of my brain that has been dormant since my college days very nearly came on line. What eventually got me feeling all right again was the fact that it didn't have a chance. I cheated on every girlfriend I ever had until I found The Missus. Through my faith and God's blessing of our union that part of me has atrophied from lack of use. It's like nipples on male mammals, or an appendix. It serves no use.

By the time I got home and told The Missus I was feeling somewhat encouraged. If the automatic response to that situation could be so easy then there's hope for a lot of other problem areas. Someday I won't have to force myself to be patient with the Short People. Someday I won't have to strain to be organized. Someday keeping my foul mouth in check won't take conscious effort.

I hope.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Posting Delayed

I was going to toss up a nice little post about fidelity and then zip over to Simple Terms and throw up some ramblings about the arts. But I've got a date with The Missus. We're watching Chocolat as soon as we're sure the Short People are asleep. So all that will have to wait until tomorrow.

P.S. Does Daytön look tougher if I spell it with an umlaut like Mötley Crüe and Motörhead?

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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Cold Enough For Ya!?

Those of us who live in the Northeast are bearing the taunting laughter of the rest of the country this week. Thanks to the Carhartt company you can bundle up enough to do things like: comfortably roof a house when it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.

Yeah, phrases like "It's colder than a well-driller's ass out there today" just don't make sense to people who live below the thirty-eighth parallel. It's a yankee thing. (and I don't mean the ball team!) While I'm at it let me toss in "colder than a witch's titty" and the charming geographical description, "nothin' between us and the North Pole but a barbed wire fence, and that blew down last winter!"

I'm finding that the cold isn't the worst of it. It's the cabin fever. Between a wife, three kids and three cats it's no wonder the house is a wreck. They're tearing the place to pieces. The felines are running around in circles and yowling. Come to think of it, the Short People are doing the same. At least they're easy to entertain. Dump out a toy box or turn on PBS Kids and The Missus can catch a little break.

Speaking of breaking, hope the weather does soon. Till next time, take it easy and don't forget to bring your brass monkeys in tonight.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Briefly

Yesterday marks a full year of posting over at Simple Terms. I wrote briefly about that over there. I'm also happy to find that I have another follower on this one. thatgirl has returned to the blogisphere and boy is it good to have her back. I've been at work since 2:30 this morning. This is about all the posting I can muster today. Thanks for stopping by though.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Din Of Dinner

I never could have guessed that dinner at my house would ever get to be as loud as the rock concerts where I ply my trade. Over the years I've developed a pretty keen ear for how loud things are and within a decibel or two I can safely say that it was easily 95 dB at my table this evening.

After a long day of finally being back to school for Miss O, and a long day of punching each other in the face for J-Man and H-Bomb, food was just not going to go down quietly. Eventually, after half an hour and not very many bites it just deteriorated into a massive BOO-YAH! fest. Not that it's a bad thing. After a good yell, the Short People had suddenly found the capacity to shove a little food in. My poor Missus is still suffering from some ear maladies however and she was feeling pretty rough.

That's it for non-fiction. I tried my hand at a little fiction over at Simple Terms. This one's a little heavy handed. But in the spirit of trying to improve my writing I'm just throwing anything that comes to mind out there. I've got another story brewing that came from a vivid dream I had a few years ago. It's pretty dark though, I may have to release it with a disclaimer.

Anyway, I'm bound to get called in the wee hours of the morning to go plow snow so it's a short one tonight. Tune in next time when you'll hear Nurse Piggy say, "What was that Mister thinking, reading blog posts on his iPod when he should have been watching where the plow was going!"

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Monday, January 12, 2009

Contradictions

I suckered some new readers in by way of singing the praises of Irish Gumbo and now I've got to deliver the goods. I usually just do family stuff on this blog but I'm here and you're here so let's just go with that, shall we?

My mind is reeling with contradictions today. Let me start by saying that I got the first truly good night's sleep I've had in years last night. I went to a sleep center to analyze my sleep apnea and spent the wee hours wearing a couple dozen electrodes in a strange bed. Add to this the fact that I had some scuba gear strapped to my schnoz, shooting compressed air into my melon.

Turns out that's just what the doctor ordered. Apart from having a bit of a time keeping my mouth closed it was great. Now my little brain is free to dream all it wants and I actually wake up rested in the morning. The contradiction involved here was the (un)balance between how much I have to do and want to do it, and how little motivation I can actually muster to the task. Now I'll get a little air pump on my night stand and nix fatigue and snoring all in one swell foop. My guess is that The Missus will start sleeping better too now that I'm going to stop sawing logs.

Cross off contradiction number one.

The second one involves the Short People. I'm constantly dumbfounded by how much I love those guys and how much they piss me off. Black Hockey Jesus said something to the effect of the root of love being spite. I guess it goes back to hurting the ones you love. In my case it's more than just the disobedience and the yelling, bedtime actually involves rather a lot of me getting kicked in the face lately.

OK, so the little ones are inside the perimeter of my defenses and therefore more easily able to wound me. I think the key to this one is remembering that despite all their intelligence, they're still only partially formed. The self discipline that is so crucial to love hasn't come to fruition in them yet. Putting myself last is still one of the most difficult things I do and I ought not to get so ticked off at people who are having the same problem. Especially when I've had a chance to develop a taste for bourbon coping skills and theirs run more toward wailing and hugging that special blanket.

Cross off numba two.

The third thing rattling around in my skull is the vast gulf between my faith and some of the elements of my life. How can it be that I love Jesus and Motörhead too? Someone from church put it into perspective for me recently. He told me he was impressed with The Missus and me, how we were God's people and our own people too. I'm finding that more and more my generation is the one that's getting the hang of being "in the world but not of it".

I've always been kind of disgusted by church folk. Excepting the ones I grew up with and a very few others I always feel like after I've been around them I need to wash. That kind of smarmy, putting on a fake exterior is exactly the kind of faith that my generation is going to call bullshit on. As a result I've found myself talking about may faith at metal shows and in bars to people who would never have had anything to do with God. Without getting too deep into it, my line has always been, "If it sucked I wouldn't do it!". And so, my love of Motörhead, my encyclopedic knowledge of Cypress Hill lyrics and my leather jacket have allowed me to be a tiny light in some pretty dark places.

Cross off numero tres.

And I think that's about enough for now. Kind of a lot to cram in between putting the Short People to bed and doing the dishes, but hey... this is the first time in half a decade that I haven't been propping my eyelids open at this hour of the day. Thanks to all for stopping by. Hope to see you around and I'll be dropping by your places soon as well. G'nite.

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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Nine O'Clock And All's Well

My crew is finally almost all healthy. Save for the lingering cough here and the still clogged sinuses there everybody's pretty much back to normal. Thank God! Today was great. There was a minimum of screaming and hitting. The house got clean (er), we ate like kings, topping off the night with pizza and homemade peppermint chip ice cream in front of Kung Fu Panda.

Now my little kung fu fighters are all asleep in their beds. I'm clean and not wearing work clothes. My belly's full and I'm about to curl up on the couch with The Missus and watch Motörhead videos on my iPod while she watches Oceans Twelve.

It just goes to show you that just when you thought it was time to give up hope it can all fall together. Sometimes things just go right.

P.S. It's time for a new Featured Blog over at Simple Terms. Swing on over there and give a look at Irish Gumbo.

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Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My Family Is Gross

My family... is gross! They all have colds, and pink eye, and The Missus is suffering from some additional, as-yet unnamed malaise that is about nine tenths of the way to doing her in. I think Miss O will be ready to go back to school tomorrow, which is real good. Between Christmas break and the additional time off cabin fever was really doing a number on her.

The boys, despite leaking from every orifice, are still just as nutty as ever if not more so. Today's diversion was to find every possible container of toys and dump them out. The endure forced labor to clean them up... and dump them out again. The Missus is going to need anti-psychotic meds if that goes on again tomorrow. I'm on a first name basis with the pharmacist these days though, so no big.

The major wonder of it all is that despite feeling totally bushed (which really is pretty much a constant feature of my life) I'm not getting in on any of the misery. Likely I'll start coming down with all of it about 10 am on Friday and work my way through it in time to get back to work next week. That's usually the way it goes for me.

Anyway, here's hoping that you and yours are fairing better than me and mine.

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Monday, January 5, 2009

Jail Bird

This is the story of part of an incredibly no good screwed up day that happened to The Missus. You'll have to click over to her blog to read about the rest of it because it happened to her and she tells it with particular flair (and hot pink letters!). As of this writing she hasn't posted it yet so if you're reading this later on you'll just have to reference the date to find it because I'm going to forget to cross link it tomorrow. So there.

I was about an hour from finishing up work today when I got a text message from The Missus. It stated that Miss O had locked H-Bomb in the bedroom. Not a big deal at this point because he was sleeping, and that boy can sleep. I sent her instructions on how to open the lock with a coat hanger and went about my business.

Thirty-three minutes later I got another text stating that my lovely wife was apparently not cut out for a life of crime. H-Bomb still asleep... situation still at DEFCON 4.

One hour and fourteen minutes later I got a phone call, not panicked but wanting to know rightthisveryminute how close I was to being home. Turns out the wee bairn was still in the clink and was now awake and PISSED! Situation elevated to DEFCON 1! Dad speeds to the rescue as fast as the Mister Mobile will take him.

As I burst through the door, already scanning the room for a convenient coat hanger I saw little H-Bomb nestled in his Mama's lap. Sad little boy was still sobbing and clinging to her like a little monkey. Turns out my Missus is quite crafty with the knitting needles and got that sucker open after all.

It took the poor little guy over an hour to get settled down. Due to being deprived of his after-nap juice and also to having a wicked case of the Eye Mung and a bad cold to boot. Miss O felt terrible. She was just trying to help out, little proto-matron that she is and wound up getting a very scary lesson in how locks work.

And that is all I have to say on the topic of house arrest. To hear the kind of funny but not really story of the rest of the day you'll have to check out what The Missus wrote after 12:01 am.

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Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blessed Sleep

I had the rare privilege of seeing my sons off to sleep today. This is not to be confused with putting them to bed, then putting them back in bed ad-nauseum until they eventually fall asleep. This afternoon at nap time I carried a very sleepy H-Bomb up to his big boy bed and set him in it. After a minute of stroking his little forehead he shut his eyes and drifted off to dream land. The same happened at bed time tonight and also for J-Man. Keep in mind that this is after a good deal of the usual rigmarole so it was that much more of a pleasure.

It has always struck me as being a singular event when one of my children drifts off to sleep on me. Sure, they nod off in the back seat all the time and they eventually go to sleep in their beds. But even as infants it has been very unusual for me to hold an awake child in my arms until they are a sleeping child. The Missus gets that effect a fair amount, but as I'm not equipped to breast feed I miss out.

If anyone has ever read "The World According To Garp" you'll be familiar with the term The Missus and I gave to spying on the kids while they sleep. There have been many nights when one of us has caught them looking particularly angelic and instructed the other one to go "Garp" the kids. Actually witnessing the transition from cranky short person to sleeping angel somehow surpasses even this. Watching it take place is so much more entrancing than happening upon it.

A lot of good things happen in those moments. I'm reminded that somewhere deep inside my little hooligans there is a peaceful little person. It's almost like there is some secret sweetness written on their eyelids that I can only read when they are just slipping into the tranquil waters of sleep. I find myself forgiving them for all their many insolences and temper tantrums and seeking forgiveness for my harsh reactions.

It was especially welcome after a week of more intense than usual bedtimes with J-Man. Every night has been an ordeal and more than once the experience has involved me getting kicked in the face for the better part of an hour. In those moments it took a heroic effort not to headbutt the little guy. One peaceful trip off to dream land is pretty good medicine.

One more anecdote and I'm out. Yesterday at lunch J-Man was all ticked off at us and declared. "You. Guys. Are. Not. The. Boss. Of. ME!!! I'm da boss!" So I responded with, "OK, are you going to go to work?" The Missus chimed in with, "And are you going to change all the poopy diapers?" I finished him off with, "And do I get to kick you in the face while you put me to bed?" He grinned at all of this and relented. "I'm not da boss!"

Touché! The TALL shall PREVAIL!

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